Ahmedabad NGO- aided self-run Dignity Kitchens feeding thousands of migrants

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The Covid-19 crisis has been ravaging the lives of millions of people plunging them into deep uncertainty, government is finding it difficult to reach out to all migrant workers in the state to meet their demands of food supply amidst this lockdown. In a unique initiative, an Ahmedabad-based NGO Janvikas-supported Institute of Social Studies and Transformation (IST), in close coordination with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Zone 5, Ravi Teja, has begun providing food, through 15 self-run kitchens, to thousands of migrants twice a day in Ahmedabad. Zone 5 consists of Gomtipur, Rakhiyal and Saraspur in old city area, where a large number of Covid-19 cases have been identified.

Since the nationwide lockdown on March 24th, there were several reports of panic and insecurity amongst migrant labourers working in several sectors as casual and contract labours. This is also true of Ahmedabad and its hinterland. Thus, the decision to come up with Dignity Community Kitchens, called “Atma Samman: Apni Rasoi, Apna Khana”, was taken, says an NGO source, after it was found that many migrants workers belonging to far-flung states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal got stranded and also faced a major resource crunch.

In the last three weeks, Janvikas and its associates – IST have been distributing food packets in localities such as Gomtipur, Rakhail and Saraspur, where many of these migrant workers were located. Team and volunteers of IST conducted a mapping exercise to locate the number of workers staying in different clusters. So, far 4,500 such workers have been mapped and facilitated them to get connected with nearby community groups to access daily food packs. These migrants are linked to one or the other community group to get daily food.

The team from NGO along with police team supply the required ration, transport facility to supply food packs and monitor that every identified worker in each cluster receives hygienic food on time.

Published in Times of India Page2 – Ahmedabad Edition